Every time I sit down and try to write something it seems so trivial, you know? It all feels so small, so insignificant, so much less important than what’s going on in the world. I feel so much pain when looking at what we as a society are going through. The murder, the political turmoil that most of the leading countries in the world are going through, the overall lack of humanity worldwide is a scary thing.
So, when I look back and reflect on my own problems they all seem so out of place. I know that I can be doing more to help people and help everyone around me, but I can’t seem to do that. That’s why it’s difficult to sit down and type this. Last week I got to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with my sister. If you know me then you know that she’s pretty much the only person in the world I would sacrifice every single thing I had for. Well, I feel like I learned an important lesson last week. She’d do the same thing for me, without question, even though she definitely shouldn’t. Now, it was never like I thought she wouldn’t, but I just never considered it. You look at a child and you want to do everything for them and you don’t even stop to think that they recognize that. They look at you sacrificing for them and in turn would sacrifice just as much for you.
There was something my sister said to me that truly struck me and my heart. We were just sitting down and talking and hugging each other (we usually don’t talk to each other without being wrapped in a hug somewhere) and she looks up at me and says “I want to travel the world like you do!”. And that was the first time I allowed myself to accept my status as a role model to her. I’d always wanted to set a great example for my sister. It’s literally the #1 thing on my to-do list in life and it always will be, but I never wanted to say “I’m this kid’s #1 role model” because to me it felt like I wanted to take on a role that wasn’t rightfully mine. I love her with all of my heart, but as ridiculous as it may sound I never wanted to be viewed as anything close to her parent because I felt a sense of guilt for us not having our mother (and our father’s leaving, but you know, they’re irrelevant to our lives).
My mom’s death is something I try not to talk about too much because I’ve felt its weight for every day since it happened. I feel torn, battered, and guilt-ridden over it. Even if it’s not a reasonable way to live life it’s something that I haven’t been able to escape for the last 13 years. That entire time I wanted to make sure my sister never felt as empty as I did/have. I’ve wanted to give her the best life possible and I wanted to do that without making her feel like I’m putting pressure on her to be a specific person. I want to be open, honest, and unafraid with helping her realize who she is and what she wants in life. Never did I think that she’d want to be like me or do what I do because, quite frankly, I don’t think of myself to be that great at what I do. Maybe it’s...not very wise to take that approach. Maybe it’s a little silly to sell myself short as a role model, or maybe I’m doing too much by taking so much of it to heart RIGHT NOW, I really don’t know.
There’s something that a person very dear to me (and my sister, who as a matter of fact, probably loves this person just as much as/more than I do) said to me about my sister that really rang through my head last week: “You’re her hero. She’ll love you no matter what you do, but she doesn’t want to see you give up. She wouldn’t want that. She’d want you to be just as happy as you want her to be”. It was honestly one of the nicest and most touching things anyone’s ever said to me (as well as one of the most honest) and it was right. My sister never resented the fact that I wasn’t around, she understood, and more than anything she hoped that she could join me. I owe a lot of thanks to the friend that said it to me. It really helped me keep going at certain points, and I’m glad that my sister still loves her now just as much as she did when they met, because she also looks up to and appreciates her (even begging me to call her for thanksgiving to talk to her).
After last week I’m feeling a new sense of purpose. I want to be that hero for my sister, I want to be the man that my mother always hoped for me to grow up to be, I want to be the father that my sister never had. Hell, I feel like I AM the father she never had, and that’s a weird feeling to encounter at 23. I have no fucking idea how to father a child. I’m seriously so bad at being a parent that I think one day a magical parenting god is going to come down and have to teach me a lesson about child care. I’m a pretty good big brother though, so I hear, so maybe that’s something?
I’ll never have the rulebook on how to do this thing. I’ll probably never really get it all right, but I so severely want to. I HAVE to. I have an extremely short list of people that I’d do anything for and my sister is at the very top. It’s been a very difficult year. My grandmother, a person that I owe my entire life to, also needs my help daily. It’s not something I ever thought I would have to do or even want to do, but I have such a responsibility to those that love me.
I’ve ruined a lot of things in my life, whether it be for myself or things for/personal relationships with other people, and for that I am truly sorry that I was never my best. I’m sorry that I was never 100% and didn’t carry with me the attitude of a person that truly cared and invested themselves all the time. I know there are employers/friends/random folks on the street that just hoped I got my act together and I didn’t really deliver, but I’m writing this to say that I’m moving forward and doing my damndest to make sure that never happens again. I can’t promise that it won’t, or that I won’t slip up, but I can promise that I’ll TRY.
I’m making a transition in my life to having to work in two cities, and I know it’ll be really really hard, but I ask that whoever reads this carries the belief with them that I’ll be able to do it. Trust me, I’ve been really bad at keeping up with myself, but we can’t sit still forever.
I’m going forward and attempting to be a better role model, surrogate father, eternal son, and decent person as much as I can every day from this day on. If I fail then I fail. If I die then I’ll die trying. I promise you that.